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Constitutional Law and National Pluralism$
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Stephen Tierney

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199298617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199298617.001.0001

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Theories of Nationalism and National Identity

Theories of Nationalism and National Identity

(p.20) 2 Theories of Nationalism and National Identity
Constitutional Law and National Pluralism


Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses how liberal nationalist theorists have constructed an argument to the effect that sub-state national societies constitute a distinct category of group, distinguishable from both the majority of ‘dominant’ national society of the host state, and other ‘minority’ groups within the state. It explores the objective and subjective features of identity which liberal nationalists have identified as characteristic of a national society, and which help to explain the resilience of national identity at sub-state level. The chapter examines how different traditions have emerged in the study of nationalism. In particular, it discusses the dominant ‘modernist’ school of nationalism which has attempted to explain nationalism as an essentially instrumental device.

Keywords:   liberal nationalist theories, sub-state national societies, national identity, nationalism

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